Prof Kevin Ward

Professor of Human Geography

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Educational Background:

  • 1998 PhD in Geography, Governing the city: A regime approach (University of Manchester)(Awarded ESRC Studentship, 1994-1997)
  • 1995 Master of Arts in Social Research Methods (University of Manchester)
  • 1992 Master of Arts in Transport Economics (University of Leeds) (Awarded Rees Jeffreys Full Fellowship, 1991-1992)
  • 1991 BA (Hons) Economics and Geography (Middlesex University)

Employment History:

  • 2007 - Professor of Human Geography, University of Manchester
  • 2005-2007 - Reader in Human Geography, University of Manchester
  • 2003-2005 - Senior Lecturer in Human Geography, University of Manchester
  • 2000-2003 - Lecturer in Human Geography, University of Manchester
  • 1997-2000 - Research Associate, ICLS and EWERC, University of Manchester
  • 1992-1994 - Research Assistant, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham

Kevin is Professor of Human Geography and Director of the Manchester Urban Institute ( He is a urban geographer with interests in the financing and governance of cities. His current work explores urban policies to see where they come from, how they travel, where they end up and what these journeys mean for the cities the policies pass through. Theoretically, this involves rethinking what is meant by ‘the urban’ in urban politics, as elements of different places are assembled and reassembled to constitute particular ‘urban’ political realms. Methodologically, this involves doing fieldwork in a range of sites inside and outside of the cities that are the objects of study, literally seeking to reveal the circuits, networks and webs in and through which policies are moved. His co-edited book (with Eugene McCann) Mobile Urbanism: Cities and Policymaking in the Global Age (Minnesota University Press) was published in 2011. He is currently exploring the constitution of financial 'models' that have emerged in different areas of the world and that have been circulating as a means of funding infrastructure in the current economic condition.

Further information

Administrative experience

At the University of Manchester

  • Director, Manchester Urban Institute (2016 - )
  • Director of External Relations (2012-2015)
  • Director, cities@manchester (2010-2016 )
  • Research Director, School of Environment and Development (2005-6, 2008)
  • Dissertation Director, Undergraduate Degree Programme (2007-2011)
  • Programme Director, MA Economy and Space (2000-2005)
  • Programme Director, MA Human Geography (2002-2005)
  • Undergraduate admissions Tutor (2002-2005)
  • Personal Tutor of first, second and third year students (2000-2005)
  • Mentor for a number of recently appointed faculty (2007-)

Professional memberships / fellowships

  • Chair, Urban Geography Speciality Group committee, AAG (2012-2014 )
  • Honorary Fellow, Research Institute in Cosmopolitan Cultures (RICC), University of Manchester (2007-2012 )
  • Honorary Fellow, Brooks World Poverty Institute (BWPI), University of Manchester (2008-2011 )
  • Affiliate, Sloan Industry Studies Program (October 2007- )
  • Honorary Research Fellow, European Work and Employment Research Centre, Manchester Business School, University of Manchester (2000-2006)
  • Member of ESRC Research College (2004-2008)
  • Honorary Research Fellow, ESRC Centre for Innovation and Competition, University of Manchester (2000-2004)
  • Member of the Association of American Geographers (2003- )
  • Member of the Royal Geographical Society and the Institute of British Geographers (1998- )

Editorships: Journals / books

  • Editor in chief. Urban Geography (2018 - ) 
  • Editor. Urban Geography (2015 - 2017)
  • Editor, Area (2010-2014 )
  • Member of Antipode editorial board (2004- )
  • Member of Spaces & Flows advisory board (2011-)
  • Editor (Urban Section), Geography Compass (2009-2012
  • Editor (Human Geography) RGS-IBG Book Series (Wiley Blackwell) (2005-2010)
  • Member of Local Economy editorial board (2004-2005)
  • Member of Work, Employment and Society editorial board (2001-2004)


I present at academic conferences, seminars and workshops on a regular basis over the academic year.  Over the last couple of years I have spoken at universities in Atlanta, Berlin, Calgary, Stockolm and Toronto.

I am a regular attendee at the American Association of Geographers annual conference, so you will find me in Denver next April!  

External positions

Editor, Urban Geography

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